- Exploring accounting and sustainable development hybridisation in the UK public sector
- Number of pages
- Glasgow/Amsterdam/Nottingham: University of Strathclyde/Universiteit van Amsterdam/University of Nottingham
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
This paper explores the relationship between accounting and sustainable development in two public sector contexts in the United Kingdom. By employing Miller et al.’s (2008) extended notion of hybridisation, the paper investigates transformations associated with practices, processes and expertises developed in two different fields. A cross-comparative approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of how sustainable development in connection to accounting is pursued and what changes have developed. Our analysis reveals that the Environment Agency’s accounting sustainable development hybrids capture a wider version of sustainable development than those at West Sussex County Council. However, in both cases the extent of hybridisation was impacted upon by lack of resources to the public agencies and seemed to affect the accounting field less than the sustainable development one. Further, the accounting sustainable development hybrids were pre-disposed to eco-efficiency concerns in contrast to issues associated with social justice. Both cases indicate scope for more boundary spanning opportunities in addressing sustainability and warn against relying upon calculative capture in this important agenda.
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